Instagram 101 for your salon

Instagram offers a great social platform, particularly for hair stylists, to showcase their work to their followers. Here are a few tips on how to use Instagram

Follow, and be followed. Before you can start making an impression you’re going to need followers. Spend some time following as many people as you can (especially people who fit your demographic), and a lot of users typically “follow back” those who follow them. It’s the circle of reciprocity on Instagram. Be patient though, it takes a few months to build a solid network of followers, but once you do you will be glad you did.

Take it slow. Nothing is worse than following a stylist that decides to post 25 photos in 5 minutes. You may be excited and want the world to know, but keep it limited and share only your best photos. It enriches your followers experience and benefits you. If you’d like to combine photos, apps like Diptic and Fuzel can create a collage. You can export them straight to Instagram to make photos even more attractive by telling people a story.

Pump the stock brakes. No one wants to see that stock photo you took a screen shot of on your iPhone, pretending it’s your own. They’ll quickly unfollow you if you ever post photos that are stock images. Just don’t do it. Ever.

twitter-hashtag-frenzyChoose your hashtags wisely. Please, please, PLEASE! Understand that hashtags are not bullet points to your photo or post, but are ways to search what’s trending online. Use hashtags as keywords to what your photo is about, and have 2-3 hashtags that you use as your own, and use them every time you post a photo. For more info on how hashtags works, see our blog post on it.

Involve your followers. Brands such as Red Bull and Audi have mastered creating communities on Instagram using hashtags and Instagram contests that get users to interact with their products and brand by connecting to their lifestyle and emotions. You could give away a gift card to clients who post photos of their new cut or color. Make sure your clients use one of your hashtags so you can track it, too.

Comment back. It’s important to interact with people in Instagram. It’s a network largely based on the emotions that a photo provides, and that emotions includes conversation (in the form of comments) made regarding your photos. Try to make communication a two way street and people will be excited not just to follow you, but to interact with you. Most importantly, look for comments that may show interest in booking an appointment with you. There is gold hidden in Instagram comments!

A lot of salon professionals who are new to Instagram (or social media in general) are a sometimes gun-shy when it comes to posting photos of their work. All I will say on that is this:

Take pride in how far you’ve come, have faith in how far you can go.

Don’t underestimate your abilities. Your clients love you for a reason.